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Irony is something of a tricky beast, often manifesting itself in an album that inspires the same reaction as its namesake would suggest, though obviously not in the manner that said LP's creators had intended. One might chalk it up to the curse of success, but the sophomore outing of the Australian deathcore disseminating act Thy Art Is Murder did elicit something of a backlash in some quarters, perhaps owing to the exodus of guitarist Gary Markowski and the shifting role of Sean Delander from guitar to bass, which essentially revamped the band's entire arrangement. The result that coincided with these sizable shifts in personnel is an interesting one where the band's entire approach to balancing their style's death metal influences with the progressive groove quirks and hardcore ones has been inverted, which gives some clue apart from the commercial success that followed as to why there is a degree of hate directed at Hate.
Getting past the bizarre visual that adorns this album's cover (essentially a three-headed demon answer to a SyFy channel monster movie featuring key alumni from the Police Academy franchise), the approach taken here is fairly impressive, albeit a bit stylized and stripped down compared the preceding works of these Aussies. Essentially the focal point of this new approach is the breakdown, resulting in something that is less chaotic and, at times, almost cold and mathematical in its demeanor. This isn't to say that the technical factor has been downplayed, as newly recruited lead guitarist Andy Marsh is actually a superior shredder to Markowski with a lot of Petrucci influences oozing from his concise yet auspicious solo sections, but rather that the pacing is a bit moderate in character as the blasting and thrashing segments are a bit less frequent and the production quality has a more processed character.
There are some clear moments of absolute brilliance contained within this largely well-rounded and formulaic endeavor. "The Purest Strain Of Hate" shares a greater degree of stylistic affinity with the more chaotic feel of The Adversary and has more blasting moments and ornamentation during the breakdown points, although it starts on a decidedly mid-paced stomp. "Dead Sun" and "Gates Of Misery" are arguably the closest to full out forays into death metal brutality, forgoing any atmospheric intro or grooving prelude and launching right into overdrive with riff that would be reminiscent of Slayer if it were not so heavily down-tuned and obscured with brazen machine gun drum work. Much of the remaining work found on here tends to hover more in breakdown-happy territory where climax points are a bit more measured, but out of said pack "Immolation" stands out as the most unique and gripping, due to a greater depth of atmosphere thanks to some tasteful keyboard usage and a masterful display of virtuoso guitar soloing out of Marsh over one of the few overtly thrashing sections of this entire album.
To a degree, the hate that this album received among fans of the pre-2012 version of Thy Art Is Murder is understandable given that this is a pretty pronounced departure. However, while the author of this review prefers the wilder and more ephemeral character of The Adversary, this is a rock solid album that makes the most of the plainer and more streamlined approach to deathcore that is, admittedly, far more popular and manages to throw in enough technical twists to keep things interesting. Often times this style is dismissed as a canned version of extreme metal reserved for hacks who splice together a lot of differing ideas in a random order with hopes of appearing progressive despite have little technical prowess, but Hate is a bit different than the typical Whitechapel or early Job For A Cowboy album and takes an admittedly contrived formula and spices it up quite nicely. Nevertheless, it is a fairly predictable listen from start to finish that would have been more of a trailblazer had it been recorded four or five years earlier
While still remaining a deathcore band, Thy Art is Murder made drastic sound changes between Infinite Death, The Adversary and what I'm reviewing right now, Hate. They started out as average Suicide Silence worship with Infinite Death and moved to a more technical death metal based sound that was reminiscent of bands like Cryptopsy and Necrophagist with The Adversary. However, with Hate, while they are still technical, they went with a completely different sound that I'm going to explain now.
This album has a pretty dark and evil atmosphere to it that I enjoy and I think they pull it off pretty well, especially on "Vile Creations," "Shadow of Eternal Sin" and "Immolation." The riffing on this album is less technical than on The Adversary, although it's still pretty technical as it is. The riffs are more groovy this time around than they were on The Adversary and there is also a good amount of chugging. I generally prefer the riffing style on The Adversary, but the riffs on here are pretty awesome as they are. The soloing on here is on par with The Adversary, which is definitely a compliment because that album had amazing soloing. It's the drumming on here is more or less the same style, with lots of blast beats, double bass and fills, but it's still pretty damn impressive. Unlike The Adversary, there is actually a lot of breakdowns on this album. Every song has at least 3 breakdowns, aside from "Dead Sun" and "The Purest Strain of Hate" which only have 2 breakdowns. Some of the breakdowns are kind of long (also unlike The Adversary, which has pretty short breakdowns that end before they get boring), like the first one in "Reign of Darkness" and the first breakdown in "The Purest Strain of Hate". However, I find the breakdowns to be very enjoyable and they manage to keep them interesting, except for the first breakdown in The Purest Strain of Hate, which is really boring.
Even though I enjoy The Adversary more than this album, I will admit that there are a couple of advantages this album has over that album. The production on this album is better. This album is ridiculously heavy, heavier than The Adversary. The vocals have also improved, having a bit more power behind them than before. CJ McMahon, already being a really good vocalist, sounds even better here. While screams aren't as common as before and he uses growls more, the screams are still there. He also doesn't do nearly as much double-layering as he does on The Adversary. I would've actually liked to hear more double-layering on this album, as I really enjoyed hearing that, but oh well, it is what it is. There are also a few instances where CJ does some style of shouting, like on Reign of Darkness and Infinite Forms, which sounds pretty cool. There are also some guest appearances from the vocalists of War from a Harlot's Mouth (Dead Sun) and The Amity Affliction (Doomed from Birth). These are the only times I've heard these vocalists and I don't feel like I would enjoy these vocalists in their own bands or any other cases (I'm not normally a fan of the style of vocals these vocalists use), but oddly enough, I actually enjoy them here and they go well with the instrumentation. These guest spots actually give me chills whenever I listen to them.
The lyrics here are pretty cool. The lyrics are mostly talking through the first person point of view of a demonic being from Hell, which I think is pretty interesting. There are also some instances of nihilism, such as "I can't wait to die" at the end of Dead Sun and the chorus in Doomed from Birth.
Overall, while not quite as enjoyable as The Adversary, this album is pretty damn awesome as it is. This album was definitely a grower for me, as I didn't think it was that great when I first heard it, but now I absolute love it. While it's still my least favorite out of all of Thy Art is Murder's full lengths, that's not saying anything bad at all.
Hate is one of the few deathcore albums I have had the pleasure of enjoying. Being a lover of demonic growls, there really isn't much I could say against deathcore as a genre despite the fact that it is well, core, and some other bands under that label have done a piss poor job. But on Hate we immediately see what Thy Art Is Murder can bring to the genre.
Hate immediately bombards us with a demonic veracity that blasts your speakers with hellish brutality. Vocals are astoundingly deep and demonic and pack a real punch, the band did right in signing this new vocalist because his growls are enviable. The lead singer does an incredible job, vocals are aligned well with the guitar and drums and flow smoothly. Many songs utilize the vocalist's fantastic growl range; able to switch from satanic bellowing to demonic shouting at a moment's notice, with some unclean vocals sounding like borderline metalcore shouts (This is deathcore after all). The guitar simply lingers in the background, playing the same riff at different pitches in almost every song and is mostly just background noise. There are a few solid moments when the guitar gets time to shine and it can be a welcome change to the drum and growl routine that permeates the majority of the album (and breakdowns in general). The real winner here is the drums, which slam away perfectly in tune with the vocals and guitar. Standard deathcore drums are present with your typical blast beats in tow as well. Production quality is excellent and overall the band is saved by their vocalist, otherwise many songs are boring and really don't change anything up from track to track, but if you're looking for something to mosh too or need some death growls in your life, this album cuts it.
Really this whole album is just good mosh material, and I imagine the band mainly gets its kicks out of live shows. The whole album basically sounds like a giant breakdown section, so if you like those ultra heavy breakdowns from metalcore, you found the right band. Reign of Darkness is a great single, and really has some awesome moments that are pulsing with anger and brutality, any fan of death metal or growls will feel right at home. Besides the singles, the album really starts to let down in quality. Every song is just a similar sounding version of the last, but this isnt horrible. Thy Art is Murder nails the deathcore sound well, although some variety is desired, it is not necessesary, and we are delivered a well done album, as far as deathcore goes.
Alright, time to hate on some Hate. This is fucking excruciating. I must say though, I liked this band for a while. I had that 2 month phase of swagging around with my snapback and Whitechapel shirt, thinking that TAIM was actually cool. After the 2 month phase, you begin to think otherwise. This is one of my most noted chuggy chuggerfest bands out there. This list includes Whitechapel, Emmure, that kind of shit. This band to me is just like Carnifex. You want to respect them for a while, but you have to work with what you're hearing. This whole album is just one of those "Rage, uh, I'm mad" kind of albums. It's a "djent-chug-hack-slash" album through and through. I saw these guys at a concert, and it is what you would expect. Pencil thin guys with fucking gigantic gauges and Asking Alexandria tank tops. They moshed hard, but does that really make up for being a complete tool?
You can't say these guys have degraded too badly though, they've seemed to always be like this. I just can't accept or respect the lack of effort I hear. These songs appear to have structures you would make up in like 2 and a half hours. The solos are mediocre, but I never expect mind-blowing solos from deathcore bands. I also hate the special appearance from the fruitcake in The Amity Affliction. TAIM are just injecting more mediocrity into their blend of mediocre, time wasting shit. Don't buy this, because if you buy this, I will respect you as much as I respect the people who bought Whitechapel's Our Endless War. The only reason this is getting 2% is because of the cover art. It makes it look awesome until the music reaches your ears. This is similar to Annotations Of An Autopsy's method. Thy Art Is Murder is a dime a dozen band that proves time and time again to make dime a dozen deathcore. This album is worthy of nothing, and all copies need dropped into a pit of fire, or into some "Hate-Mosh-Kid's" DC backpack. Sad excuse for music by a saddening deathcore band.
Let me make one thing clear about this right from the start: Thy Art Is Murder have not abandoned the style of The Adversary in favor of copying Emmure, as some would have you believe. Hate does not solely consist of chugging, neither does it include any of the new-metal antics that have made Emmure famous.
While Thy Art Is Murder started out as somewhat of a Suicide Silence ripoff and were only able to emancipate themselves with the more tech-death approach of The Adversary, Hate arguably sees them partly returning to their roots - yet this is not actually fully owed to the songwriting, but rather to the overall production of the album. The technical death-metal riffing is severely overshadowed not only by the very frequent use of breakdowns, but also by the extremely loud drums. The sounds of the snare drum in particular would fit some moshcore band a lot better than Thy Art Is Murder's brand of technical deathcore.
Yet the overtly modern production is not the only huge difference between Hate and its predecessor. Where The Adversary was strongly focused on memorable guitar riffs as hooks, Hate is focused on memorable vocal patterns as choruses. This goes hand in hand with most of the choruses focusing on groove rather than strong riffing, which is a trait common among many deathcore bands. Breakdowns are used as choruses and vice versa. While not necessarily a bad thing, this approach has Thy Art Is Murder's music lose some of the edge it had on The Adversary. The songwriting on Hate always leads to the breakdown/chorus and as such is a lot more tightly arranged, which may be the factor why the music seems to lack in ferocity.
Still, Hate is not a bad album. Yes, it is at least slightly reminiscent of a dumbed down version of The Adversary. But on the other hand, it is a very potent album when it comes to simply venting anger and frustration, meaning that it was very much written for a live environment. Songs such as "The Purest Strain of Hate", "Reign of Darkness" and "Defective Breed" are focused on functioning during live shows, meaning that the "extra baggage" that its predecessor featured with its immense amount of technical riffing simply would not do in this case. While The Adversary was the more interesting and versatile album, Hate still measures up to its title and does it more than satisfactorily.
Australian technical deathcore band Thy Art is Murder achieved renowned success with their debut full-length album, The Adversary, in 2010 after having a troublesome start to their career in 2005. The band did away with their original vocalist who was replaced by Chris McMahon for their debut effort, and this time around guitarist Gary Markowski has found himself terminated from the group. Bassist Mick Low also quit the band in 2010 and upon doing so Sean Delander took over bass duties, to which he passed off his guitarist placement, along with Markowski's open spot, to newcomers Tom Brown and Andy Marsh. With a rearranged line-up that includes two founding members, two new additions and one vocalist who lands in the middle of it all, what is the ultimate outcome of Thy Art is Murder's second full-length, Hate?
To be completely honest, the album artwork is what drew me initially to this release. It is one of the greatest pieces of artwork I've come across on recent releases and being an artist myself, I fully appreciate the amount of detail and atmosphere that is present in it. In this case, the artwork really helps to depict the storytelling in the lyrics presented on Hate, especially in the track "Infinite Forms" which paints the picture of this abominable and ever-changing, growing demon that coats the world in fire, destruction and disease. However, that being said, from start to finish the formula on this material is a direct copy and paste project from The Adversary (reviewed here) with minor changes included.
It can be said that the line-up changes within Thy Art is Murder have had little to no effect in changing up their style. If you've heard The Adversary, then you've heard pretty much everything that Hate encompasses. The guitars stick to polyrhythmic double and triplet palm muted riffs that make use of variously timed rests between strums, along with technical melodic solos that are spaced throughout the content; however, the solos are fewer and further between in comparison to the amount that were present on the band's debut full-length. A new addition to the guitar compositions is the use of foreboding, dissonant picking that lines the background, generally at the beginning, of tracks such as "Reign of Darkness", "Vile Creations", "Shadow of Eternal Sin" and "Infinite Forms". The drums this time around are less effective, the group did away with the inhumanly triggered double bass kicks and this, coupled with the all around slower pace of the guitar tempos, causes the album to come off apathetic and empty at times. There are a plethora of very skilled and fluid drum rolls that make their way into the mix, which switch things up now and then, but not enough to cause a substantial difference. The vocals have a lot of stand alone segments where they're backed by nothing but a drum hit here and there, usually a low cymbal crash, which reinforces the hollowness of the tracks. Vocally there is a regression within the content, instead of a large range of low, near-guttural bellows the listener is now met with standard death metal growls that find themselves occasionally backed by high shrills. "Dead Sun" and "Doomed from Birth" each have a guest vocalist, Nico Webers and Joel Birch respectively, who contributes metalcore styled near-clean screams that don't do any favors for the album. Due to the tamer song structures of Hate, the breakdowns that are presented feel unnecessary and ineffective in the long run where as they were the highlight of the band's debut full-length.
It genuinely feels as though Thy Art is Murder have regressed with Hate. The blueprint for this album is taken directly from The Adversary; even the ending track, "Doomed from Birth", is the most melodic song within the material much the same as "Cowards Throne" was for their previous effort. Not much varies from song to song, and the content begins to become predictable even within the few new elements that are incorporated. However, this isn't to say that Hate is a bad album. It's groovier, slightly less technical and overall more melodic than the band's initial release, but it does come off with a heavily recycled feel to it. Recommended for existing fans of Thy Art is Murder, those that enjoyed The Adversary will enjoy Hate, but most likely not as much due to the lackluster drumming, dip in vocals and reused guitar structures.
- Villi Thorne
I have no idea what the fuck deathcore has been doing with itself for the past two or three years, I seriously don't. It's like trve metal-worshiping gnomes are infiltrating deathcore bands everywhere and scrambling the minds of their songwriters so that their subsequent musical output will sound like total SHIT. It's baffling: within two years' time, from 2011 to 2012, we get not one, not two, but no less than four famous deathcore bands ripping up their nice little formulas before gluing them all back together with nu-metal and modern hardcore mixed in between. For exactly one of these bands (Suicide Silence) this did not end in shambles, and even then it substantially weakened them in comparison to their pure deathcore works. Thy Art Is Murder is one of the other three.
I'm honestly not entirely sure who actually wanted to hear Hate since it's weaker in practically every aspect imaginable. Well, no: the production is a lot heavier all-around compared to The Adversary, with the guitar tone in particular being particularly vicious, loud, bassy and well-defined. The vocals have a lot more impact as well, being louder and more clearly defined in the mix. Even the drums feel a bit more prominent, though they're a bit buried by the absolutely massive guitars.
These would all be good things if the guitars, vocals, and drums used their newly-found heaviness and clarity to improve upon the formula laid down with The Adversary, but they don't and IT SUCKS. In a word, Hate is stupid - nauseatingly, unequivocally, and irredeemably stupid. The material here is essentially The Adversary with a breakdown-to-riff ratio of, say, 3:1 instead of that album's 2:3, which would be nice if TAIM's breakdowns didn't have a record of being horribly boring and interchangeable amongst themselves (especially in terms of melodies - holy shit, TAIM, did you know you can integrate melodies into your breakdowns? Really, it's quite possible, ask Waking the Cadaver!). These are breakdowns that don't really go anywhere at all, the kind that bands use when they're stuck musically (you can just sort of listen to them and get the feeling that they're not going anywhere); but the album is chock-full of them, as if the band just made a handful of riffs and padded them out with breakdowns, then called it a full-length album. Even when TAIM aren't in breakdown mode, they still primarily chug, sounding like a crappy Emmure knockoff mixed with boring mid-paced, rocking hardcore beats, and little hints of technicality that have more-or-less always been a part of Thy Art Is Murder's sound. The band can occasionally muster enough of a metal hard-on to play a blast beat for ten or twenty seconds at a time, but even these riffs, which were stellar on The Adversary, sound dumbed down with poorly-integrated nu-influence here, being based less around technical death metal and more around watered-down Pantera grooves mixed with deathcore chugs and stereotypical weedly bits; and the neutered end result is just as annoying as the breakdowns which are littered around the album's length.
None of these elements are helped by the vaguely djent-influenced "atmospheric" leads which like to wash over the guitars indiscriminately in an attempt to make the music come across as a lot less retarded and simple than it actually is. They're not beautiful, they're not particularly melodic, and they sound like they were added with the reasoning "if we have low notes, but then have high notes playing at the same time, we'll sound 'epic' and 'majestic'!" Well, at least you kind of realised that that was a concept, TAIM, so good on you; but what you did here was more-or-less equivalent to those 400-pound landwhales who try to burn off their six daily Big Macs by running a quarter-mile every week, and exclaiming with satisfaction as they dig into a bonus seventh burger as a reward for a job well done: "Welp, that's taken care of! I'll be skinny in no time!" If you refuse to put effort into these sorts of things, it's really best just to go without them, not leave them sitting there, half-assed and poorly-constructed.
The vocals haven't suffered as much of a vertical drop in quality, but they're definitely on the way out. The growls here aren't as deep as they were on The Adversary but still manage to sound withered and bored even with the lost depth in account, and the screams (which also sound a lot more tired and hoarse) are almost entirely eradicated except for a handful of uses where they're layered on top of the growls. (This album doesn't use as much double-tracking as its predecessor, but considering how the vocals sound, would you really want it to?) Hate also sees the addition of some absolutely atrocious yelping hardcore shouts to Thy Art is Murder's music, which sound equally tired and bored in addition to embodying the annoyingly try-hard tough guy sound that most hardcore shouts intrinsically exhibit. The band seem to be convinced that half of all the breakdowns (particularly ones that were judged to be extra-br00tal) need to be introduced by an effect-laden vocal-only section in the music. This is the sort of thing I usually deem to be tolerable about once in a deathcore album; Thy Art Is Murder probably do it over ten times on this album and each time it's used, it just gets harder and harder for me to resist just shitting on the rug in frustration like a distressed dog.
This has a couple moments to its name - "Defective Breed" has a couple uses of a Portal-like black metal riff that makes some fine use of subtle dissonance; "The Purest Strain of Hate" has a cool, stop-starting, oddly melodic chuggy section that sounds like something Immolation could come up with on one of their better days; "Shadow of Eternal Sin" features just about the only section where the "atmospheric" nonsense makes a decent melody, instead of stupid amelodic whining on the higher strings; and the solos seem to have still retained some semblances of quality - but you've gotta be shitting me if you want me to dig through a bunch of banal, shitty breakdowns, nu-metal riffs backed up with generic weedly sweeps, and hardcore shouts to hear a Portal riff when I could just fucking listen to Portal. There is no logical explanation for Hate except for the possibility that Thy Art Is Murder simply got tired of not sucking balls, and took their next studio session to fully indulge in the practice of ball-sucking. This is unbelievably stupid, and if you give the band money to hear it, then you are exhibiting one of the most damning symptoms of mental retardation. Don't be a retard.
So here we have the new album by Thy Art Is Murder, titled simply "Hate". I was a huge fan of their debut album, "The Adversary". It's my favourite deathcore album and maybe even one of my favourite albums full stop. The natural reaction when I hear a band who made a record I loved that much is making another is to get very excited. Very, very excited. Unfortunately my expectations haven't been met, to say the least.
Okay so the solo work is fucking awesome as expected. Songs like Reign of Darkness, Shadow of Eternal Sin and Immolation have multiple wonderful solos in them, but almost everything else on this record is so generic. Generic chuggy breakdowns, generic wigger shout vocals, generic drumwork. This is a great problem because everything on The Adversary was the exact opposite. The riffs were razor sharp and very technical, the vocals were guttural and enjoyable, the drums were insanely fast and the breakdowns were few, and even when you did hear a breakdown on that album it was fitted into the song structure perfectly.
However, I can't say it's all bad. Like i've already said the leads are incredible. Dead Sun is a reasonably enjoyable track, becoming quite melodic in the last two minutes and even having some almost clean vocals coming in and Shadow of Eternal Sin has some very heavy thrash-like riffs.
Nevertheless, it's still a major disappointment. This album sounds unsurprisingly like Whitechapel's latest which was also very disappointing. Even TAIM's dreaded EP "Infinite Death" had a higher breakdown to riff ratio, and that's saying something because that 5 song EP was stuffed with chugs. Maybe diehard fans of the band and deathcore in general will like this, yet fans that liked The Adversary because it was so much more on the tech death metal side of deathcore than the hardcore side (like me) will probably not get much enjoyment out of this. Dead Sun is probably the only worthwhile song on here, maybe Immolation too.